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Sudan opposition calls for intifada

November 7 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Street protest in Port Sudan against the lifting of fuel subsidies by the Sudanese government, September 2013 (Twitter)
Street protest in Port Sudan against the lifting of fuel subsidies by the Sudanese government, September 2013 (Twitter)

Sudan’s opposition parties are calling on the people in the country to stage mass protests against the increase in fuel and electricity prices. They claim that the government will spend the extra proceeds on security and defence forces.

Via the social media, especially Facebook and WhatsApp, activists are urging employees to boycott their work, students not to attend classes or lectures, and all Sudanese to stop buying electricity until the government repeals the new measures.

On Thursday evening, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Badreldin Mahmoud announced the liberalisation of fuel prices and an increase in electricity tariffs. The measures took effect per direct.

Living hell’

The National Umma Party (NUP), the Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS), the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP), the Popular Congress Party (PCP), as well as government partner Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) have refused the increases.

“The measures will dramatically affect the livelihood of the vast majority of people in the country. Their life will become a living hell.”

The NUP described the price increases in a statement on Friday, as “a war against the Sudanese citizen. More Sudanese people will die soon, either from hunger and diseases, or by the regime’s bullets”.

According to the Communist Party, “the members of the junta are seeking sources again to continue their wars and their life in luxury”.

In a press statement on Saturday, the party said that “The measures will dramatically affect the livelihood of the vast majority of people in the country. Their life will become a living hell.

“The raise of the salaries and pension with 20 per cent is cancelled out by the 100 per cent increase in prices.”

The Communist Party called for a nationwide intifada against “the catastrophic economic measures, until the regime is overthrown”. It said to be convinced that “the Sudanese are able to stop the regime’s messing around and its underestimation of the power of the people”.

The largest partner in Sudan’s government, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), as well as the Popular Congress Party that participated in the National Dialogue, have rejected the measures, demanding “the suspension of the price increases”.

 “The proper treatment of the country’s crises starts with ending the wars and the huge government spending on security services and the political and administrative apparatuses.”

Time bomb’

The Sudanese Congress Party also appealed on the Sudanese to protest the measures. The party stated on Saturday that the liberalisation of the Dollar and the fuel prices will not resolve the economic crisis. “The proper treatment of the country’s crises starts with ending the wars and the huge government spending on security services and the political and administrative apparatuses.”

Economist Dr Mousa Karama criticised the “irresponsible expenditure” of the government as well. “The attempt to solve the dire economic situation with adhoc measures resembles someone who is trying to catch his shadow. The government continues to spend its money on the huge army of National Congress Party parasites.”

During an economic symposium in Khartoum on Sunday, he called the price increases “a time bomb, as the people have been suffering for years now. We are up to our necks in the water.”

Exchange rate

The Central Bank of Sudan has already liberalised the exchange rate of the US Dollar for the import of medicines, remittances of expatriates, and flights of foreign companies.

Economic analyst Kamal Karrar told Radio Dabanga on 3 November that the decisions will lead to a rise in prices of imported goods, and an acute worsening of the economic crisis. The Sudanese Committee of Pharmacists described the decision as “a catastrophic crime against the citizen who has been paying the bill of treatment out of his own pocket.” The decision “will seriously affect the health of citizens”.


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